There are several new training protocols out there at the moment that have captured the imagination of the web’s fitness enthusiasts. These include concepts like HIIT and tabata. Kettlebell workouts are big at the moment too.
But these are just two types of training that you can use to mix things up and see better results. And actually, there are many more exciting and alternative ways to train like this that simply haven’t made it into the mainstream.
The great news is that the more of these you learn, the more options you’ll have for your own training and the easier it will be to meet your precise goals. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting options then…
Cardio acceleration is similar to HIIT in that you’re combining a form of high intensity exercise with something a little more slow-paced. In this case, you are going to combine intense CV with resistance training. In that way, your routine will be just like any other weight lifting routine but in between sets – when you would normally be resting – you will instead engage in high intensity cardio, whether that’s sprinting or tuck jumps. It’s highly effective at burning fat but it’s also brutal!
Want to get even more bang for your cardio buck? Then try ‘fasted cardio’. This is simply cardio that you perform first thing in the morning – before you have even had breakfast. This way, you train before you have given your body any food and that means you’ll have low glycogen stores and low blood sugar. You’ll therefore be in a much more catabolic state and your body will have no choice but to use your fat for energy. Combined, these factors result in much greater fat burn!
One way to combine cardio and weightlifting is to finish a resistance training workout with a cardio ‘finisher’. A finisher is simply and intense burst of cardio exercise tacked onto the end of your weights work. This is enough to blast a few more calories and to ensure that you’ll use up all the juice left in the tank before you head home from the gym.
HIIT usually means switching between different combinations of rest periods and intensive exercise. Normally, this follows a steady pattern but in fartlek training – which translated literally as ‘time play’ – you have more freedom to try different combinations. You can switch between more than two levels of exercise (sprinting, walking and jogging for example) and you can decide to mix and match them how and when you want to.
MetCon stands for ‘metabolic conditioning’ and is essentially what you get when you combine a relatively basic form of resistance exercise with a high intensity approach. The idea is to train your metabolism as much as your muscles, which you accomplish by performing short and focussed bursts of exercise in a structure manner.